Move over Kindle, there’s a new type of electronic book on the scene – and this one’s got pop-ups. The interactive pages come alive with LED lights, sounds and even vibrate in response to touch.
The Electronic Popable book, developed by the High-Low Tech group at the MIT Media Lab, has electronic circuitry embedded in its pages that turns the tabs, flaps and wheels of a traditional pop-up into switches and a variety of sensors. The interactive pages come alive with LED lights, sounds and even vibrate in response to touch.
Watch the Electronic Popable book in action
Venus fly traps spring up invitingly from one page; sensors in the trap’s jaws respond to the user’s touch, gently closing around the probing finger as it withdraws. The sensors control the amount of electric current flowing through springs in the leaf. The springs are made of the shape memory alloy nickel-titanium and contract to close the leaf shut as their coils are heated by the current. The leaves reopen as the wire cools.
To create the pages for the book, mechanical engineer Jie Qi and Lab director Leah Buechley used off-the-shelf electrically conductive paints and fabrics, adding custom-made magnetic components programmed using a standard integrated circuit. “The innovation was in finding new uses for these easily available materials,” Qi says.